From this week’s Publishers Weekly:

Sales in Amazon’s North America media group were flat in the second quarter….The e-tailer attributed the results to a decline in video-game and video-game console sales that was offset by gains in books.

The writer/small press owner part of me is not the least bit surprised.

The part of me that mothers three teenage boys is gobsmacked.

Showing 6 comments
  • Cyndi

    So sad but I’m right there too!! I just finished reading
    A Landscape with Dragons and was really “spurred” to keep reading with my kids and keep looking for great books for them to “feed on”, and to really watch what is out there……but as we are on vacation this week, the videogames just draw them in such a strong way……learning how to keep a balance is soooo hard.
    By the way, thanks for your “plain-spoken” words of warning and encouragement in the last session at Williamsburg. It was refreshing to hear what you think and I have taken it to heart!!

  • Jenny Wells

    So are you saying even your classically-educated, sons and grandsons of writers are drawn to the video games? And why isn’t the small press owner surprised? Does this mean there’s hope? Not an either/or? Tell us more!

  • MJ in Georgia

    I wasn’t in Williamsburg! What were your ‘plain-spoken’ words of warning and encouragement?” (see Cyndi’s comment)

    Also, are you still trying to go to bed earlier? (remember, “Go to bed earlier, lose weight”) I don’t think I’ve lost any weight, but then again, it’s 12:37 a.m. and I’m on the computer, no wonder!

  • Maria

    Hi Susan,
    Um . . . definition, please?

  • Sebastian (a lady)

    I think that on balance, it is far easier to justify not buying video games and easier to justify buying books. Books still maintain a virtue that a video game does not. And it might not be an movement from video games to books. It might be a lessening of sales on video games and a movement of spending from a category like movie visits to books.
    Even at the (to my mind) high cost of a book (it is hard to spend $8 on a paperback when I remember spending $2-3 as a teen), it is a bargain when compared to the cost of movie tickets and popcorn/drinks. That buys a lot of books that can be enjoyed more than once, passed around and finally swapped somewhere for a new read. Feels very thrifty and virtuous.

  • Sebastian (a lady)

    Ah, one more thought. It may also be a matter of brick and morter retailers having better prices on gaming items. I’ve not seen that Amazon has the steep discount in this area that they do in books. So this might be an Amazon thing, rather than an actual shift in consumer spending.

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